Thursday, August 31st, 2017   ( 3 months ago )

Del Mar Debutante, John C. Mabee Stakes Highlight Strong Program Saturday

Spectator © Benoit Photo

A most attractive stakes doubleheader – the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Debutante and the Grade II $200,000 John C. Mabee Stakes – will be the featured highlights of a strong 11-race program Saturday launching Del Mar’s three-day Labor Day holiday weekend of Thoroughbred action. Post time for the first race Saturday is 2 p.m.

Spectator, a daughter of Jimmy Creed trained by Phil D’Amato, heads a field of eight talented two-year-old fillies after her impressive triumph in the Debutante steppingstone Sorrento Stakes in early August. Jamie Theriot has the mount again.

Seeking to upset Spectator will be Gabrielleelizabeth, Evin Roman; Moonshine Memories, Flavien Prat; Gas Station Sushi, Corey Nakatani; Just a Smidge, Rafael Bejarano; Piedi Bianchi, Mario Gutierrez; Dancing Belle, Kent Desormeaux, and Poetic, Mike Smith.

Gabrielleelizabeth and Piedi Bianchi were $10,000 supplementary entries to the seven-furlong sprint which traditionally decides the juvenile filly champion of the summer season.

The John C. Mabee at a mile and one-eighth over the infield Jimmy Durante Turf Course drew a quality-laden field of 13 top class older fillies and mares.

Cambodia, Drayden Van Dyke to ride, comes into the Mabee fresh from a game three-quarters of a length victory in the Grade II Yellow Ribbon Handicap August 5 in which she defeated four of her rivals Saturday – Pretty Girl, Amboseli, Hillhouse High and Frenzified, the second, third, fourth and fifth place finishers, respectively.

Smith rides Pretty Girl, Victor Espinoza has the call on Amboseli, Bejarano will be aboard Hillhouse High and Santiago Gonzalez has the assignment on Frezified.

Others in the line-up are Decked Out ( Desormeaux), returning to competition after winning the Grade I American Oaks December 31 of last year; Madame Stripes (Joe Talamo), victress in the Osunitas Stakes this summer; Mrs McDougal ( Prat), Lady Valeur (Ricardo Gonzalez), Barleysugar (Tyler Baze), Insta Erma (Gary Stevens) , Goodyearforroses ( Nakatani) and Kiss Me Now (Martin Garcia).